Tuesday nights election had some dramatic upsets. Democrats won the Kentucky Governorship and took control Virginia legislature.
It also saw a wave of openly queer candidates winning public office. The LGBTQ Victory Fund, an organization that provides fundraising support for queer candidates at each level of government, endorsed 111 candidates this election cycle and 80 of those candidates won!
46 of the candidates were cisgender gay men, there were also lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or queer winners as well as 5 that were transgender women. One openly identified as nonbinary.
Neil Rafferty of Birmingham, Alabama is an openly gay former U.S. Marine and won a House seat in the state’s 54th district by a whopping 90%!
Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston, Texas, and LGBTQ Victory Fund President and CEO, said in a statement,
“Americans are understandably focused on the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, but the LGBTQ candidates who won tonight will arguably have a greater impact on the everyday lives of their constituents. The LGBTQ candidates who were elected to school boards are our future state legislators. And those who won state legislative races are our future U.S. Congressmembers and our future governors.
We are building a pipeline of out LGBTQ leaders at every level of government so we can advance equality today, and so we are positioned to run for higher-level offices in greater numbers tomorrow.”
Throughout the course of 2019, the Fund endorsed a total of 176 candidates, 29 of whom won races earlier this year. All in all, 108 LGBTQ candidates were elected across the country this year, which the Fund says is the highest number ever in an odd-numbered election year.
There are now 765 openly LGBTQ elected officials serving nationwide. While this may seem like an encouraging number, only 0.15% of elected officials in the US are LGBTQ, showing that there is still work to be done before our government truly reflects the diversity of gender and sexual identity within our country.
(via Daily KOS)